Facebook, YouTube remove viral 'Plandemic' video that links face masks to getting sick

Facebook, YouTube and other social media platforms have removed a viral documentary-style video titled "Plandemic" that promoted conspiracy theories about the coronavirus.

The 26-minute video, which was framed as part of a longer documentary on the coronavirus pandemic, promoted several false claims, including that wearing a face mask makes it easier to get the virus and that shelter-in-place orders hurt the immune system.

It also claimed without evidence that the coronavirus was invented in a laboratory in order to promote vaccinations. Judy Mikovits, an anti-vaccination activist, makes many of the claims in the video.

ADVERTISEMENT

The video received more than 1 million videos on multiple platforms before it was removed, according to reports. It went viral on Thursday and was shared by users with large follower counts, including NFL players and Instagram influencers, according to NBC.

“Suggesting that wearing a mask can make you sick could lead to imminent harm, so we’re removing the video,” Facebook told Reuters.

YouTube told CNBC the video was removed for making claims about a cure for COVID-19 that is not backed by health officials.

Vimeo told The Washington Post the company “stands firm in keeping our platform safe from content that spreads harmful and misleading health information. The video in question has been removed ... for violating these very policies.”

Twitter also blocked the hashtags #PlagueofCorruption and #PlandemicMovie from trends and search and labeled the URL to the video as “unsafe," according to CNBC.